Today’s prompt is:

“Most annoying character ever!”

Clockwork AngelM’kay, the cop-out (yet oh-so-true) answer is Bella Swan, but I won’t go there. I can rant for hours on this one, and thus can write reams upon reams about why Bella sucks as a character.

Tessa from Cassandra Clare ‘s Clockwork Angel equally annoying in my book, so I’ll rant about her instead.

First of all, her character is comprised mostly of clichés – she’s ordinary looking, yet attracts not one, but two drop-dead gorgeous guys; she is shy and timid, but that only hides her cleverness; she has hidden powers that everyone needs, but she’s not aware of them in the beginning. And the list goes on…

Tessa begins her adventure by traveling to England only to discover that her brother has been kidnapped by dubious people. They threaten her and use her brother as leverage as they try to gain her cooperation. So far, everything is in place for a good adventure story with the heroine doing the rescuing for a change – how refreshing!

Nope. Not even close.

Tessa is too scared (and honestly, I’ll give her that one – I’d be scared too) to do much but be rescued by yet another faction of mysterious, possibly dubious people. One of them is an incredibly handsome young man named Will who flirts with her and bullies her by turns. This incredibly handsome young man has an equally handsome friend who is quiet and gentle and treats Tessa kindly. Guess which one she falls for? Go on, I dare you.

Tessa then discovers that she has magic of her own and flat refuses to use it or to help her rescuers in any way, despite their desire to stop the group that has her brother.

And this is where I start to get annoyed. Tessa has a lot of potential as a character! She’s powerful in her own right, not overly stupid, and has a remarkable amount of self-agency… which she throws away with both hands every chance she gets, preferring to hide behind Will.

Overall, she reminds me of a limp cat and a tantruming toddler by turns and that is the mix that drives me up the wall the most.

So, to review:

  • Her character is comprised of literary clichés.
  • She has no agency of her own; what she does have, she refuses to use preferring to hide behind a man who tells her that he loves her and then insinuates that she’s a whore and not worth a relationship.
  • She ignores the man who treats her well in favor of the one who treats her poorly.
  • She plays the damsel in distress, refusing to help herself or others.

Hmm…. maybe I did write about Bella Swan after all…

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